In the first of a series of My DJ Hub Members content, James West AKA DJ Westy about his come up from the bedroom to playing out and getting his own radio show.
To all that are interested in growing your DJ skills from complete beginner to novice here is my story.I used to love raves & clubbing back in the day & the love of music has never left, I was lucky enough to have a set of Technics 1210's in the 90's but never really took it that seriously by the time I was 22 they were sold. (I regretted that ever since)
Fast forward to my 40th birthday & I got a DDJ-1000 Controller, I was hooked. Picking tunes, downloading them to MP3, just trying to push two tracks together & make it sound good was a mission. As technology has evolved there are plenty of ways to help yourself learn. YouTube videos are a good starting point.
After months of practice & wanting to gain experience, me & a mate chipped in 50/50 & bought a mobile sound system + lights, we started to promote ourselves locally - word of mouth / Facebook / friends / family & we started to get bookings. Yes, it started off at a basic level, a friend's party for free, a private party for a few drinks & £50. This is where I got some great exposure/experience.
After approx. 18 months of bedroom DJ'ing & private parties, I was keen for more. Here's the important bit... network as much as you can & ask for a chance to play! I did exactly that. I knew someone who played the local venues, I got in touch & asked them how I could get involved, it turns out they needed cover on some of thier nights which then progressed to a regular Friday night slot for me, the venue holds approx. 500, so it's still a small achievement but remember I was dreaming of this a few years before.
After building the confidence to ask for DJ Slots - I set my goals on another prize. A dance music radio station that's been established since 1989 & I used to listen to in the 90's. I started to drop into the chat room & be a regular listener, when the time was right, I asked for a slot on the DJ roster, which they agreed to. It happened quickly & before I knew it, I was playing a weekly slot! The live mixes go out on Mixcloud, Twitch, YouTube, Hearthis, Facebook which is great exposure, I didn't have a clue how to do this or set it up but asking for help the more experienced DJs were happy to advise.
I'm absolutely loving my DJ journey so far. Joining My DJ Hub has been a big part of the inspiration to grow more. I've set my next goal to get a DJ booking at local festival. I'm happy with a warmup slot & I will be asking for that chance soon! In summary, join forums, ask questions, get involved, mistakes happen so enjoy the journey! Smash out the mixes & watch yourself grow with experience.
Thanks for reading, James / DJ Westy